Professor A Robert W Forrest


School of Law

Honorary Professor


I graduated in science and medicine from Edinburgh University and went on to practice medicine, retiring from the NHS in 2007.

I was Professor of Forensic Toxicology at Sheffield from 1998 to 2005, returning to the NHS on the closure of the Department of Forensic Pathology in 2005.

I have had some 28 years experience as an Assistant Coroner and retired after 4 years as Senior Coroner for South Lincolnshire in March 2016.

Research interests
  • Evidential aspects of forensic medicine & science.
  • Coronial law, history and practice.
  • The investigation of health care professionals who deliberately harm their patients.
Teaching interests

I enjoy teaching, and have taught medical and science students from undergraduate through post graduate levels. I am member of the cadre of coroners recognized by the Judicial College for the continued professional training of coroners.

Professional activities and memberships
  • Member, Medico-Legal Committee, Coroners Society of England & Wales.
  • Vice-President (Medical Coroners), Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians.
  • Editorial Board, Science & Justice
  • External Examiner, Forensic Science, University of Bradford
  • Examiner, Diploma in Forensic Science & Medicine, Society of Apothecaries.
  • Judges and Chief Constable’s Commendations in respect of my part in the investigation of a cluster of suspicious deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital (2016)
Key publications

Journal articles

  • Vosk, T., ARW Forrest, A. Emery & LD McLane. “The Measurand Problem in Breath Alcohol Testing” Journal of Forensic Sciences. 59(3):811-5, 2014 May
  • Yorker, BC, KW Kizer, P Lampe, AR Forrest, JM Lannan, and DA Rusell. "Serial Murder by Healthcare Professionals." Journal of Forensic Sciences 56, no. 6 (2006): 9.
  • Milroy, C. M., J. C. Clark, and A. R. Forrest. "Pathology of Deaths Associated With "Ecstasy" And "Eve" Misuse." Journal of Clinical Pathology 49, no. 2 (1996): 149-53.
  • Prescott, L. F., R. W. Newton, C. P. Swainson, N. Wright, A. R. Forrest, and H. Matthew. "Successful Treatment of Severe Paracetamol Overdosage with Cysteamine." Lancet 1, no. 7858 (1974): 588-92
  • Clark, J. C., C. M. Milroy, and A. R. Forrest. "Deaths from Methadone Use." Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine 2, no. 3 (1995): 143-4.
  • Forrest, A. R. "Ethical Aspects of Workplace Urine Screening for Drug Abuse." Journal of Medical Ethics 23, no. 1 (1997): 12-7.
  • Forrest A.R. "Some Patients May Want to Retain Ownership of Tissue Removed from Them. BMJ 314, no. 7088 (1997): 1201-2.


  • Forensic toxicology for the Coroner's investigation. Thomas L. Inquests: A Practitioner's Guide. 3rd ed: Legal Action Group; 2014, pp 151-6.
  • Forrest, A. and R. Kennedy (2012). "Jurisprudence." In "Ubelaker DH. Forensic Science: Current Issues, Future Directions: Wiley; 2012. Pp 310-336.
  • Forrest ARW. Toxicological and Biochemical Analyses. In: Burton JL, Rutty GN, editors. The Hospital Autopsy- A Manual of Fundamental Autopsy Practice. 3rd ed: Hodder Arnold; 2010. pp. 216-26.